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Auckland Anniversary Weekend busier than whole of July

Coastguard volunteers assisted at 93 incidents across the northern region over the long Anniversary Weekend, bringing 272 people back home to safety.
The scorching weather meant boaties were out in droves, but there was no rest for Coastguard volunteers as they took to the water and to the air in our search aircraft, to help keep boaties safe over the long weekend.

Across the region, volunteers put in long hours, including Coastguard Whangarei volunteers who spent a full 11 hours assisting and then towing a launch from Port Fitzroy back to Marsden Cove. Many other crews were called out multiple times in one day, with Maraetai volunteers launching four times to attend to boaties that had found themselves in trouble. Almost three-quarters of the 93 incidents were caused by mechanical, fuel-related or electrical issues.

One Coastguard rescue vessel – the Hauraki Gulf-based ASB Rescue – departed Mechanics Bay on Friday at 1930 hours and stayed on the water, with its all-volunteer crew, until late Monday evening (2230 hours). Over this time the volunteers aboard tended to 18 vessels requiring assistance, with a total of 67 people – almost a quarter the total number people assisted during the long weekend. It was also busy in the air as well as on the water, with both Auckland and Northland Air Patrols assisting in a combined five incidents requiring their search capability.

Boaties made sure to keep in contact with Coastguard, making 5,418 radio calls into the Coastguard Operations Centre, including Trip Reports and calls for assistance, over the three days of the long weekend – over 1,300 more radio calls than in the whole month of July 2017. The number of incidents attended over the Anniversary Weekend was also higher than the number attended in July.

Coastguard Operations Manager Ray Burge said that, while Auckland Anniversary Weekend was busy, Coastguard was bracing for an even busier Waitangi Weekend. "We’re urging boaties to make sure their boats are in good condition for a great weekend on the water, and have been well serviced before they head out. And even if the weather is scorching, make sure you’ve got your lifejacket on – they've never ruined a day on the water."

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